Building Entrepreneurship: Nation Building

by Nillanthan Maha, June 22, 2024

[Translated from the original Tamil by Google Translate with some corrections by the Editor.]

On the 16th in Jaffna, an award ceremony was held at a tourist hotel located at Pungakulam Junction. It was the event for the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards of the Tamil Nadu’s Virudhu Nagar Rotary Club. A residential seminar for young entrepreneurs was organized under the auspices of Heart Oil Manufacturing Company. The aim of the seminar was to build the confidence and business skills of young entrepreneurs. The youth who participated in it addressed the awarding ceremony. The essence of their speeches were of time importance; Believing

In it a young man spoke to the following meaning “Who am I? What is my role in this country?”  I had a question… and got the answer after attending this residency seminar. Most of the other youth talked about the fields in which they are emerging as entrepreneurs. A young man from Viswamadu talked about how he had recovered from his own injuries. War scarred, he explains how he succeeded as an entrepreneur. Confidence shone in the voices and words of the youth. They shared the hope that they would build their businesses in their motherland.

That belief is the focus of this article here today. What is his role in this country? Who is it? One group of youth is thinking about it. Another group is cutting its roots and migrating.

A few months ago I visited a Canadian visa office and a beautiful young lady came to hand over her passport. I noticed that she signed her passport there and returned. Her eyes were unusually bright with joy. She walked away as if she had found a treasure. Her mother and brother were waiting for her at the junction where the small street where the office was located turned into an empty street. When she saw them she behaved as if she had accomplished a great thing and was standing on the threshold of victory. This is the first observation.

The second observation is that in Jaffna there is a private educational institution for children studying mathematics and science in G.E.C. High School. The name board of the company on Kannathiti Road reads: “Be a Canadian: the first step of a new life”.

Going to Canada; Going to London; Leaving the homeland is becoming an insatiable thirst among the youth in our area. Another part of the same society is the youth in this country, “This is my lot; “I am going to build my business and the country together,” they say with confidence.

This article is not anti-immigration. The fears of immigrants are real concerns. This article does not disparage dreams about the future, but already the land is crumbling. That means the motherland is falling apart. Now the number of people has started to dwindle. No Tamil parliament member seems to have accurate statistics in this regard. Unofficial reports suggest that no less than a thousand people have emigrated from the country in recent years after Canada relaxed its visit visa rules.

“I’m not going to last long in this country, in this community,” said a psychiatrist recently, reporting an increase in crime among young people waiting to immigrate. “This is no longer my country, nor my community. Part of the thinking is, ‘I might as well live out the period between getting the visa,'” the doctor said, pointing out that crime among younger people is on the rise.

On the one hand, in urban areas there are no people for daily wage work. Many auto repair shops do not have people to work. Masonry work, wiring work, painting work, etc. are rarely available. Those who come for daily wages bring mobile phones. Half their time is spent on work, the other half on their mobile.

On the other hand, there are almost six thousand unemployed graduates in the North-East alone who are waiting for job opportunities.

On the one hand there are no people for wage jobs and on the other hand there are no jobs for graduates. Educated people and people who held important responsibilities are leaving the society. But, in the same society, a small group of entrepreneurs and young people are stepping up to the stage with confidence.

Entrepreneurship building is part of nation building and on that basis the residency seminar is worth noting. There is another message in it.

The seminar was organized by a diaspora Tamil organization and a big businessman from Tamil Nadu. The volunteers were also from Tamil Nadu.

Regarding the stateless Eelam Tamils, we can refer to the diaspora Tamil community and Tamil Nadu as partners in their nation building. The financially strong diaspora Tamil community is the flesh and blood of Eelam Tamils.

The diaspora has been accused of teleporting domestic politics.  There are accusations of issuing proclamations without engaging with the motherland; however, the diaspora Tamil community is a primary stakeholder in the nation-building process. Next is Tamil Nadu.

The well-heeled Tamil diaspora community is growing into influential investors in Tamil Nadu’s film industry, which is largely not a serious artistic investment. Nor is it an artistic attempt to reflect the collective trauma and collective psyche of a crowd of people demanding justice against genocide. The movies are hugely popular, with investments worth crores.

On the other hand, the investments of the Tamil diaspora in other industries of Tamil Nadu except cinema are relatively less. In this regard, an investment plan has not been formulated from the orientation of nation-building to realize the potential of Tamil Nadu geographically, ethnically, linguistically and culturally.

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